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Tribunal stress and the LA dirty tactics...(20 Posts)
I am three days away from my tribunal hearing and can you believe it, the LA still haven't named a school that they feel could meet my son's needs.
As you can imagine, I don't know their "proposed" school cost of placement.
I don't know about the provision their "proposed" school provides.
I don't know the qualifications of staff from the LA "proposed school".
I don't even know the school that the LA are proposing for heaven sakes!
I have filed many request for changes form for the LA to name a school, but they come back with excuse after excuse after excuse!
I even sent them my edited version of the working document 4 weeks ago and I haven't heard back since from them!
This is disgusting behaviour and is highly unfair.
I have no doubt that they are going to request an adjournment or name a school on the day. Whereas me, a 21- year-old-student, I had to literally live on breadcrumbs so that I could save to fund independent reports and for experts to attend as witnesses. I would most probably have to fund these again if an adjournment is accepted by the judge.
I am so thankful for my brilliant representative and the experts (who will be attending to DS hearing) who have been supporting me all the way. But I just feel annoyed that the LA are allowed to do these tactics.
I literally have no case to prepare.
What do I do?
I feel for you Adrianna as my LA are playing a similar game as well - although mine have named a school they think they can turn up and puit another 2 schools on the table as well...
deep breaths - all you can do is prepare. before the hearing gets going properly the judge will ask to see you and the LA and there he will discuss how the case is going to proceed - if an adjournment going to happen it may be raised at this point. if they do try, explain to the judge about the costs of your witnesses and due to the LA behaviour causing the adjournment that you may want to make an application for costs.
in all honesty there isn't lot you can do - it is just so frustrating that the LA get away with behaving like this - if it was parents the LA would be jumping up and down
Thank you bjk, it's awful isn't it?
I didn't know the judge did that first thing. I really cannot afford an adjournment, I really can't. The LA had four months to name a school. I hope the Judge will take that into consideration.
Tell them you can't afford an adjournment on the day of it's suggested. Tell them if they allow it then you will have no witness and that's extremely bias on the LA. They have not worked with you at all and have had months and yet not even made a attempt to name a school
What excuses are they giving for not naming a school? I strongly suspect that if they haven't found one by now they're not going to.
It's all pants. The hearing is supposed to be the judge deciding between 2 real options where there is disagreement - parental preference and LA named school. I had to do a request for changes to have DS1's LA school named so that I could visit and have my indi OT and EP visit. With travel etc this cost around 2K. Then on the day of hearing the LA named 2 other schools that I officially knew nothing about making all the evidence and costings for the school that they had named irrelevant. The schools offered were also indi schools at which DS1 had not been offered a place and so they were only agreeing to fund these schools if subsequent visits proved either to be the right place for DS1 and he was offered a place. This would have meant more delay.
HMCS needs to use existing legislation and guidelines to enforce pre-hearing action so that pubic funds are not wasted in this way. So much for checking case progression and ensuring that cases are hearing-ready. Parental preference of placement or parental requests for changes to description of need and provision should automatically be granted by tribunal, with no right of appeal for the first year, where the LA are not ready for whatever reason. The mindset of 'delay saves money' needs to change to a recognition that delay causes damage and is not in the best interests of the child. Also that evidence of failure is not a criteria to demonstrate 'real' need but is evidence of damage.
Good luck at your hearing
Icimoi A few months ago, they said they would like to see more evidence regarding my independent reports concerning DS. But I have shown them the reports and as of yet they have not named a school.
KeepinKeepingon1 What was the verdict of your hearing? and thanks! I hope my hearing goes well.
adrianna - the LA conceded on the day of the hearing. We didn't get the WD until the the LA arrived at the hearing with one paper copy so we didn't get started until 11 am. By 12.30 the LA had conceded to parental preference of OOC indi ss.
I kept waiting for an 'evil genie' to pop out with a cunning plan as I couldn't understand why the LA would choose to proceed when they had no chance of winning. I thought they must have some killer evidence that they plan to spring on me. DS1 had failed a natural transition point to m/s secondary and was out of school in receipt of LA home tuition. But the only LA plan was to delay the inevitable for as long as possible. In my LA, all part 4 appeals that name indi go to tribunal as a matter of course, just on the off chance that the judge buys the LA/school version of reality that everything is OK or can be OK from now on, for less, money in the catchment m/s.
That's how I feel keep that there's going to be an evil plan tomorrow. I'm taking lots of copies of the WD with me. 2 schools said no, LA preferred school cannot meet her needs, LA have no reports - it's an absolute farce that we go through
Keepon.. That's exactly how I feel! That a cunning plan is will be unveiled for the day.
bjk How are you feeling? Are you prepared for the hearing, do you have a representative?
Feeling sick even though this is the fourth time - I have no legal representation - doing it ourselves
A few months ago, they said they would like to see more evidence regarding my independent reports concerning DS. But I have shown them the reports and as of yet they have not named a school.
But you said you've filed many requests for changes - so presumably you've filed some after they've seen the reports? What reason do they give for not naming a school now?
I didn't fill in a RFC after the evidence deadline. I was advised to write a letter to the judge, which I did, ordering them to name a school. The Judge seemed to ignore the letter, I wrote again, but no response, even though SENDIST confirmed that the Judge has looked into my letters.
I then did a RFC for the LA to name a school by such and such a date, if not the LA will be barred and my school will be written down in Part 4. Well the Judge rejected that order and didn't mention the LA ordering them to name a school. I gave up, as it was only a couple of days away from my hearing. Atlas, the bundle includes many of my letters and RFC ordering the LA to name a school.
You can do it bjk and thanks wassup
I think part of the problem now is that sendist are just over run with cases. when I phoned last Friday about something they admitted there was no registar in the office so no point rushing to do something. another friend has just lodged her appeal and her date is the end of Nov which seems like ages away doesn't it?
as each appeal has gone on I have found them to be much slower to respond and issue orders or to even just register a case, they don't have many staff and I bet their workload has gone through the roof which of course doesn't really help us parents on the ground quietly trying to get the right support in place for our kids
Well you have done all you can and the LA / tribunal have failed to adhere to process so make sure you ask for your wasted costs if they adjourn so you can bring your experts back. We had an adjournment and actually our experts / rep agreed to do it for free the second time as we were so screwed financially.
You can ask again on the day to bar the LA from bringing new evidence eg about a new school
Good luck for tomorrow.
Honking and flapping for you
Thinking of you tomorrow, adrianna , we're all behind you!